St. Croix man wanted in connection with hotel burglary surrenders to police


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ST. CROIX - The day after police issued a wanted poster for a man in connection with a Frederiksted home invasion, he turned himself in to police after finding out he was a wanted man.

Joseph Woodfolk, 36, appeared before Magistrate Jessica Gallivan on Friday morning and was advised of his rights on charges of second-degree burglary, forcible entry and trespassing in connection with an incident police said occurred March 8 at a Frederiksted hotel.

According to the affidavit in support of the warrant, V.I. Police Detective Michael Simmonds said the manager of the hotel called police and reported that someone had broken into one of his cottages, while the guests were inside sleeping.

He said based on the information from the woman, she sat up in bed to have a drink of water and saw a man inside the kitchen behind the counter. She said she initially thought that it was her husband, but when she looked around, she noticed that her husband was still in bed, asleep.

She said she clapped her hands and yelled at the man to get out of the room, and he ran and she gave chase. She said the man ran south away from the room, but she did not see where he went.

Simmonds said police obtained a copy of video surveillance from the hotel, and residents in the Frederiksted area pointed out that the man on the video was Woodfolk, who they had known for years. Police, who also admitted to knowing Woodfolk from previous criminal contact, said they tried finding him at his last known address and through the V.I. Superior Court's probation office, because he had another pending burglary case, but they were unsuccessful.

Police issued a wanted poster for Woodfolk on Wednesday, and on Thursday Woodfolk surrendered to police without incident. Woodfolk, also known as "JW," originally is from Ohio. His pending charges stem from an August incident last year in which he is accused of barging into a family's home just after sunrise and running away with a bag.

Woodfolk was apprehended not too long after that incident and was taken to the police station, where police questioned him about his activities and subsequently arrested him.

Bail for Woodfolk in that case was set at $50,000, which was posted by a third-party custodian in November.

Bail in the new case also has been set at $50,000, and on Friday, another woman presented herself as a friend of Woodfolk and was willing to stand in as a third-party custodian and post the bond.

Woodfolk currently is on parole after being sentenced to 20 years in prison for a 1997 first-degree burglary and attempted murder. He was paroled in 2010 and could face a revocation if he is convicted of another crime and would be made to serve up the 7½ years of his sentence.

This was Woodfolk's third arrest since he has been paroled, but he has no additional convictions.

Woodfolk was scheduled for a status conference before V.I. Superior Court Judge Harold Willocks on Wednesday in the 2013 case, but he did not show up and a warrant was issued.

- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email fstokes@dailynews.vi.

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